The Research and Innovation days will open tomorrow, marking the long-awaited launch of the first Horizon Europe 2021 calls. Thousands of companies, research centres and SMEs with existing experience in collaborative European Research and Innovation (R&I) projects, as well as other applicants, new to this programme, are in the starting blocks. European Innovation Consultants as well.
This week will see the opening of the first calls under Pillar II of the Horizon Europe Programme. Horizon Europe’s total budget for the next 7 years amounts to the record amount of €95.5 bn, of which half will address global challenges and European industrial competitiveness. Over 700 topics (collaborative projects to be funded by the European Commission) will be published in the next 2 years, funding thousands of projects involving various partners (industrial partners, research centres, SMEs, or non--profit organisations, etc.) for several years. Each project will require excellent coordination and management skills to ensure public funds provided by the Commission are spent efficiently to develop novel solutions. From a maturity point of view, projects will span from basic research to applied innovation, ready to be commercialised when the project is finalised. Ambitious exploitation strategies (i.e. what will happen with the research and innovation beyond the project lifetime) will have to be included in funding applications to convince evaluators.
In 2019, Innovation Consultants across Europe decided to strengthen their collaboration through EAIC, the European Association of Innovation Consultants. The purpose of the association is to allow for better recognition of their work and contribution to the support of many actors, such as industry and research organisations, who are willing to be part of EU projects to develop breakthrough innovations but have limited expertise and/or time to access these funding instruments. Consultants advise them on how to develop their innovation process as well as on how to access public funding needed to bring their innovation to market.
With the new Horizon Europe collaborative calls now opening, Innovation Consultants are ready to support projects based on their previous experience and track records with the previous framework programme. EAIC now includes more than 40 members across the EU with a vast experience in R&I programmes but also in alternative funding opportunities for the private and public sectors in Europe.
Under Horizon 2020, the predecessor of Horizon Europe for (2014-2020), the average success rate of 11% has decreased in the last years of the programme as budgets ran out and consortia competed for the remainder of the funding. Many companies and research centres have used the support of innovation consultants, to increase their chances of success , to drive the proposal writing process under time pressure, to find the right partner and support them in the professional management of projects when approved.
The members of EAIC have decided to sign a code of conduct which is a prerequisite to be part of the association, which ensures that they respect deontological principles, such as impartiality, e.g. they cannot write proposals and be part of the evaluation committee at the same time.
On 21st June, EAIC elected a new board of members composed of 12 company representatives; you can find the composition of the new board here: https://www.eaic.eu/about-eaic.html
Consult the full list of EAIC members here: https://www.eaic.eu/members.html
View the Horizon Europe calls that have already been announced through the official Work Programmes of the EC here.
The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) gathers active Innovation Consultants in the field of European research and innovation projects. The group aims to facilitate the exchange and promotion of best practices and success stories, as well as to uphold professional skills and expertise in European RDI projects. Today, the group gathers 46 members, active in more than 24 countries around Europe.